How important was the invention of the lithium-ion battery?

Is the lithium-ion battery the most important invention of the past 50 years?
It is definitely important. And the inventors just won a Nobel Prize. Powers all kinds of stuff. But no, I'm gonna go with the Internet as the most important invention of the last 50 years.

Was PG&E shutting off power to 600,000 Californian customers the right call?
Hard to say. They do have a pretty solid argument that you have to shut off powers at this time of the year, with these kinds of winds coming, to prevent forest fires. On the other hand, surely there's a better way to get the same benefit in forest fire reduction than taking away all the electricity? It's a big problem.

What can we expect with the just announced PlayStation 5?
It's coming next holiday season. It's going to start much faster. The hard drives a lot better. The thing I'm most excited about, the haptics in the controller. When you play video games, there's usually some soft rumbling that can help you understand feedback. There's gonna be a lot of much cooler stuff in the PS5.

Howard University President Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick joins That Made All the Difference podcast to discuss how his career as a surgeon influenced his work as an educator, administrator and champion of underserved communities, and why he believes we may be on the cusp of the next "golden generation."

Listen to the latest podcast now.

When hundreds of thousands of protesters in Ethiopia brought sweeping change to their government in 2018, many of them were blaring the music of one man: a popular young activist named Hachalu Hundessa, who sang songs calling for the liberation and empowerment of the Oromo, the country's largest ethnic group.

Earlier this week, the 34-year old Hundessa was gunned down in the country's capital, Addis Ababa.

More Show less

As the United States celebrates its Independence Day on July 4th, we thought we'd take a look at two places in the world that have emerged from the colonial rule of Uncle Sam, and a third that may do so in the future.

Liberia: The West African nation of Liberia was never formally a US colony, but from 1816 to 1847 it was administered by the American Colonization Society — founded to return freed American slaves to Africa. Liberia in 1847 became the first independent republic in Africa (and just the second Black republic after Haiti). Its first president was Joseph Jenkins Roberts, a former slave from Virginia. With a similar flag and a US-modeled Constitution, Liberia has remained independent despite several periods of extreme turmoil, including two civil wars. Its current president is former soccer star George Weah...whose son plays for the US national soccer team.

More Show less

As the coronavirus continues to sweep across the United States, hospitals around the country are seeing a crush of COVID-19 patients requiring urgent care. In recent weeks, medical professionals in a number of states have said that they were unprepared not only for the number of infected people that would require treatment, but also for the length of time patients would need to stay in the hospital. Many cities and towns are now facing the possibility of massive hospital bed shortages. Here's a look at hospital bed occupancy rates, state by state.

The Wall Street Journal says that it's partisan to compare the US pandemic response to Europe. In this episode of The Red Pen — where we do our best to keep op-eds honest — Ian Bremmer and Eurasia Group's Scott Rosenstein point out some flaws in the WSJ's argument.

More Show less